By IVES GALARCEP
CHESTER, Pa. — In what is becoming too familiar a trend for John Hackworth’s liking, the Philadelphia Union played another quality match only to see a late defensive breakdown cost them a chance at a victory.
On Saturday, it was the Montreal Impact playing the role of spoiler this time, with Marco Di Vaio marking his 2014 debut with an 80th-minute goal to help Montreal earn a 1-1 draw at PPL Park.
The Union looked to be in comfortable shape late in the match, up a man and controlling possession. Di Vaio had other plans, beating Zac MacMath with a quality finish after an otherwise frustrating day of missed chances.
Di Vaio raced onto a long pass from Justin Mapp, and after squaring up on Union defender Amobi Okugo, the Italian took advantage of space to strike a perfect curling right-footed shot past MacMath for the equalizer.
Di Vaio’s second-half strike cancelled out a first-half goal from Vincent Nogueira, who raced onto a Jack McInerney pass in the 35th minute before beating Troy Perkins with a well-driven shot.
Nogueira’s goal was the high point of a first half that saw the Union dominate possession and keep the Impact on their collective heels. That control continued on into the second half, but the Union failed to find an insurance goal to provide some breathing room.
The Union looked to have that breathing room when Andrew Wenger was issued a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Nogueira in the 76th minute, but the man advantage couldn’t keep the Union from surrendering a late equalizer for the second time in four matches.
The Impact return to Canada with their first point of the season after starting the year 0-3. The Union move to 1-1-2 on the season.
What did you think of the match? Surprised to see the Union settle for a point? Think Montreal can turn things around now that Di Vaio is back?
Share your thoughts below.